What are the symptoms of an abscessed tooth?

Symptoms of an abscessed tooth include:
  • tooth pain when exposed to heat
  • throbbing tooth pain that interrupts sleep
  • inability to chew or tap on the tooth
Some tooth abscesses break through the gum tissue, causing what looks like a boil or sore. 
The main symptoms of an abscessed or infected tooth include:
  • tooth pain that is throbbing, shooting, sharp, and constant
  • foul breath
  • fever
  • pain when chewing
  • sensitivity to hot or cold liquids
  • body aches or feeling ill
  • bitter taste in the mouth
  • swollen glands of the neck
  • swollen areas in the upper or lower jaw, which indicates a serious problem
If you have any of these symptoms, see your dentist right away.
An abscessed tooth is an infection caused by tooth decay, periodontal disease or a cracked tooth.

Symptoms of an abscess include:
  • pain
  • swelling
  • redness in the gums
  • bad taste in the mouth
  • fever
Stanislav Moline
Symptoms (feeling) of an abscessed tooth may be all or some of the following:
  • Feeling pressure in the tooth/teeth
  • Pain/discomfort when chewing
  • Feeling swelling near the tooth and lymph nodes (the latter usually for lower teeth)  
  • Feeling that the tooth is moving (pushing out)
  • Possible temperature, headache
  • Bad taste in the mouth
  • Pain relieved by cold
Keep in mind that all the above symptoms may be symptoms of other problems, some of which are unrelated to teeth. A proper evaluation by an endodontist (a root canal specialist) is the best way to confirm diagnosis.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.